What is Religion?

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What is Religion?

Religion is the human response to the apprehension of something, or power, which is supernatural and supersensory. It is the expression of the manner, and type, of adjustment effected by a people with their conception of the supernatural.

Religion had been regarded as a product of civilization until Tylor gave convincing proof that primitive societies have their own versions of religious activity, not very different from that of civilized societies.

All regions consist of a mental attitude regarding the supernatural. The most widespread manifestation of this attitude is in the shape of beliefs and rituals, the former often wrongly called myths. What we call myths is believed in by the people to whom they belong, and are therefore better designated as religious belief or beliefs.

All religions, primitive and modern, have this base of belief and ritual. Ritual consists in the observance, according to prescribed manner, of certain actions designed to establish liaison between the performing for the rituals, as also a rationalization of the same.

These beliefs ensure that the rituals will be observed. The presence of religion of one kind or another has been always reported by investigators. It an essential feature of human life without which attainment of full integration of the human personality is not possible.

It may, however be kept in mind that the conception of the exact nature of the supernatural differs from society to society and people to people. For some the supernatural may be constituted of ghosts and spirits; for others it may be an impersonal power which pervades everything in this world; for still others it may be manifested through a pantheon of anthropomorphic gods and goddess, or a single high God, and so on.

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